Niantic’s much-anticipated Harry Potter follow-up to Pokémon GO is coming next year, but Harry Potter fans who want their first taste of Hogwarts on mobile don’t have to wait, because Harry Potter is coming to the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming studio, Jam City.
Through a partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Jam City has gotten a license to develop a new mobile game, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, that lets players create their own character and enroll in Hogwarts.
The new game will not only let players enroll in Hogwarts, but they’ll get to train their characters in all of the magical classes and extracurricular activities the school has to offer. Want to become an Auror? Take Defence Against the Dark Arts. Worried about dueling skills? There’s a Dueling Club feature that will let gamers test their mettle against each other. And for fans of Slytherin’s favorite professor, potions classes are also on the curriculum.
Jam City said that most of the iconic professors from the Harry Potter stories reprise their roles in the game — including Professor Dumbledore.
The companies have been pretty quiet about the details of the game, which we hear will be set in a time that pre-dates the events of the much beloved series of Harry Potter books penned by J.K. Rowling.
Launching under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Portkey Games, a label dedicated to creating gaming experiences inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter, players will get to experience the ins and outs of life as a Hogwarts student.
(I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for this thing. I’ve never downloaded a game on my phone in my life and I can’t wait to make this the first app on my home screen.)
“What an honor it is for Jam City to develop a mobile game for one of the largest and most iconic brands in history,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City, in a statement. “As Harry Potter fanatics ourselves, we have great respect for the millions of people throughout the world who have followed the Harry Potter stories for more than 20 years. This game is a labor of love for our developers and artists, who are dedicated to creating the most magical entertainment and game play experience for everyone who adores J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.”
The game was actually the result of several rounds of focus group testing and a ton of input from employees at Jam City, which counts a number of hardcore Harry Potter heads among its staff. The team came up with the idea internally and pitched it to Warner Bros.
For anyone worried about whether the writers would mess with their beloved universe, the project was penned by two capable writers who were vetted and approved by J.K. Rowling’s team at The Blair Partnership.
Both Matthew London, who wrote a series of science fiction novels called “The 8th Continent” as well as tie-in books for a number of iconic series, and Allen Warner, who is the director of Narrative at Jam City and previously worked for DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation, have the chops to develop a compelling narrative.
“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a mobile gaming experience inspired by J.K. Rowling’s spell-binding lore, and it will be an exciting, fun way for fans to experience the Wizarding World,” said David Haddad, president, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in a statement. “It is great to work with Jam City on the game, as the company has a proven track record of bringing rich, beloved worlds to players of mobile entertainment.”
The game’s not available til next year, but will be distributed through iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon App store.
The fact that Jam City was able to land this deal is a huge win as the company preps for a potential initial public offering in the next few years. Harry Potter remains one of the biggest franchises of the twenty-first century, with the series of books selling 450 million copies worldwide and the films grossing $7.7 billion at global box offices.